I walked slowly, silently and solo back to CroParadise and crawled into my bed. I looked across the bed to where Katie had been.
Then, as if on cue, Carl walked back into our room.
“Heya,” I said, looking up from my laptop to see him standing next to his bed.
“Hi,” he replied. “What did you to today?”
We quickly caught up on our activities of the day and then decided we would go get dinner.
“You want to go out tonight?” he asked over terrible burritos (note – don’t try to eat Mexican in Split. It doesn’t work).
“Ummm … I don’t know, I’m a little tired from last night still. I think I need a night off.”
“Oh, right,” he said. “I think I am going to go out with the Aussies.”
And out he most certainly went.
I was curled up in my bed, fast asleep until 5 a.m. when I heard the group of them come stumbling back into the hostel.
“Dude, I’m soaked,” exclaimed Carl loud enough so I could hear him through the door where he sat on the terrace.
Laughter. Drunken loudness.
Please, please, please, shut up.
For an hour, I tossed and turned as Carl came in and out of the room we shared, opening his locker, going back to the terrace.
I’ve had it.
At that moment, it hit me: I don’t like dorms anymore. They were never my favorite thing, but after spending 6 1/2 months living in them, I was finally and absolutely sick and tired of them. I wanted a good night’s sleep. I wanted privacy. I wanted to sleep naked, dammit. And, each night instead, I resigned myself to sleep in a room with between two and 20 strangers, never quite sleeping peacefully because I never knew when someone might come in to the room, make noise, rustle their belongings, talk in non-whispers at 3 a.m.
I’m not saying I dislike dorms — they are inexpensive and a great way to meet people. But, after 180+ nights of dorm life, I was craving a big bed and a little privacy. And silence.
I woke up the next morning and was shocked to find Carl awake.
“Good night last night?”
“Oh yeah, we had a great time. We went on a pub crawl, then went to a club, then went skinny dipping.”
Sounds like last year when I was in Split. I suppose it is a Split Rite of Passage to get absolutely pissed and then take your clothes off and jump in the sea.
“I’m hungry, want to go get breakfast?”
Carl and I trudged down to the market, snapping up some eggs and fresh bread, then returned to the hostel.
I set the table while he made us breakfast.
“What are you going to do today?”
“I think I am just going to stay in, watch movies, do some writing,” I said, slightly tired from being woken up in the middle of the night.
“Yeah, that sounds like a good idea, me too.”
So, he and I spent the day locked in our room, selecting random movies from the more than 1,000 the hostel had saved on its computer.
When night began to creep up, Carl turned to me and asked if I was going out tonight.
Not a chance. I want to go home.
I paused, shocked at the thought I had just had.